28 February 2014

Anonymous asks about "rules" within short & long-term open relationships

Anonymous asked:
Do you have rules with your significant others about what is allowed with other partners? I guess I'm thinking of your longer term relationships like Butterfly Boy but I'm also curious how this works with Sir.

Dear Anonymous:

Honest communication and clearly defined boundaries are imperative to making any relationship work, whether that relationship is platonic, romantic, sexual, monogamous or non. These things become even more important when multiple partners or any sort of power exchange dynamic is involved. 
The "rules" vary from relationship to relationship, and person to person. Even within one relationship things will evolve and change as time goes on and trust develops. 

The one constant is safety, physical and emotional. 

While both are important, I tend to place a little more emphasis on the physical--- a misunderstanding is much easier to mend and bounce back from than an unwanted pregnancy or an STI, so safer sex practices are always a requirement. 

I feel I have to point out the importance of discussing what, exactly, "safer sex" means to you and your partners-- particularly if you are fluid-bonded. We're all grown-ups here and we know that sex can be risky, but most of us take calculated risks. I don't know anyone who uses dental dams every time they go down on a girl or give a rim-job, or who uses condoms for every blow-job. Should we? Ideally, probably, but most of us don't. Do your research, discuss, and make informed decisions with your partner about what activities and measures work for both of you.

Whew! Being a responsible adult is hard work, right? And that was the "easy" part...

Now, beyond the physical safety factors, within a long-term romantic relationship (as with Butterfly Boy) the "rules" are made to support and maintain trust. I prefer full-disclosure: crushes, potential lovers, pre-date announcements, post-date debriefings (tee hee). Some people prefer not to know details beyond the fact that their partner has other lovers, but what I have found is that when things are left to the imagination, well, the imagination runs wild. "We hung out" could be tea and Scrabble or it could be a 10 person orgy--- I'd rather just know which. Besides, story-time is sexy. I like hearing other people's stories and adventures; things they've done or tried that might inspire my new misadventures. 

For my partners at least, anything goes, as long as the honest communication, full-disclosure, and safety factors are there. I prefer to meet their lovers, but don't require it. I know a lot of women don't like to feel like "the other woman" and even if they know the affair is sanctioned, most of them won't feel comfortable meeting me. One thing for which I am a stickler, is respect. They must be respectful of me and my relationship with my partner. Likewise, if any of my other lovers even hint at a lack of respect for my primary partner (can we please come up with a better term for that, already?), it's over. 

Sir was a whole other story. We are no longer involved, but while we were, it was strictly a D/s dynamic rather than a romantic relationship. We did sort of "date" for a couple of months at first, but we were incompatible as romantic partners. That is not to say there wasn't affection, trust, or respect (those are required in abundance for healthy power exchange!), but he was certainly not a "boyfriend". 
Because of the power exchange dynamic, there were more structured rules. As his submissive, I willingly gave him control over certain aspects of my behaviour, my body, and my sexuality. Because of the platonic nature of our dynamic (and the fact that we both adamantly believe in non-monogamy), I was free to date and play with others, but always remembering that he was my Sir and I was his girl. When I became his sub, I gave him sole control and ownership of my orgasms. While playing with others, I was allowed to orgasm-- but only after asking for and being granted permission by those other lovers, sort of a temporary transfer of ownership, if you will. That was actually at my request/suggestion. It served to remind me of my training, remind me that my orgasms no longer belonged to me, and that even while playing with others, I still belonged to Sir.
 I was definitely not allowed to wear my collar while playing with anyone else, though I was allowed to call other lovers "sir" if engaging in kinky play, merely as a respectful form of address. There were certain other little personal rituals and terms that were reserved just for us. 
The one thing that was absolutely off-limits was my ass. My bottom could get spanked or flogged all day long if I wanted, but there was no kind of anal penetration allowed--- no tongues, fingers, plugs, cocks, nothing...I wasn't even allowed to wear my kitty-tail plug.
The kitten play was the only area where we initially disagreed. My kitten side is something I only recently started exploring in earnest, thanks to Sir. As it's primarily a non-sexual thing for me, I wanted to explore that type of play with others as well. When I first brought it up, he was a bit hurt, I think. It was the only thing we explored that was new to both of us and that may have made him feel somewhat proprietary about it. Given how difficult it was at first for me to even admit I was into it, he was surprised I would want to explore it with others so soon. He eventually conceded, though. 

That brings me back to the very first thing I mentioned: honest communication. You have to openly express your needs and wants, discuss them, and make rules that work for everyone involved. Then stick to them! Also be aware that those rules will change as you and your relationship or dynamic change. When the old rules no longer apply or they aren't working, they have to be re-assessed and re-negotiated. The other tricky thing about rules is that you can't plan for every eventuality. You can't spend so much time creating rules for your relationship that you don't have time to have a relationship. How boring! 
Things will come up, mistakes will be made-- just be a grown-up. 
If it was an honest mistake, discuss it, resolve it, and put rules in place to avoid repeating it. 
If it's a blatant disregard or "creative interpretation" of your agreements, it may be time to re-consider that particular relationship.


Infamous CoatCheck Girl

P.S. Have a question for me? Click here to send me your anonymous queries.

All Content Copyright 2014, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

16 January 2014

Conversations with Mom 1/15/14

I am very fortunate in that my mom and I have always had very frank and open conversations about sex. She doesn't understand some of my kinkier proclivities, but she is curious and finds our conversations very informative. On Monday, I was telling her that my Sir made me wear a butt-plug to Sunday's CoatCheck shift. 
"What is that?!"
I explained as best I could, but apparently she was left with some unanswered questions, something about the language barrier. What is Spanish for butt-plug, anyway? We spoke yesterday, and I mentioned having had an extended, overnight play-date with my Sir.
"So this butt plug thing" she asked "I still don't understand...what do you do if you have to go to the bathroom?"
"Well, uhm...you sort of take care of things beforehand, but if I had to, I would ask for permission, and then go..."
"You have to ask for permission?"
"Yes, I have to ask permission to do pretty much anything...including having an orgasm."
"Haha...yeah, I have to ask for permission, and I'm not allowed to come until he says I can."
"...well, if you're happy..."
"Haha, I am, Mami. I asked permission for every single one of those 20-something orgasms I was 'forced' to have today..."
"Oh!" she seemed to take a moment to process "Talking to you and your brother is so...educational!"
All Content Copyright 2014, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

13 November 2013


Was that round three? Round four? Who knows...
I was floating on endorphins and adrenaline, the thrill of exploring old limits with a new lover.

His hand gently traced the line of my hip.

"What's this? It feels like a splinter."

 "I don't know...probably a little clogged pore or something"

I froze and watched in horror/fascination as he, quite matter-of-factly, extracted this little sliver of keratin from my skin with his thumbnails.

"That was, uhm...oddly...intimate?" I ventured uncomfortably.

He rolled his eyes and gave an exaggerated, exasperated sigh.

"I've had my tongue in your ass!"

"...good point."

All Content Copyright 2013, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

17 September 2013

Romance in the 21st Century: Vignette

We spoke of things that could have been, that might have been.
We reminisced on love, friendship, and loss.
As we hugged goodbye, his hand dipped below the small of my back, firmly cupping flesh.
Turning to look for his taxi, he quipped:
"You turned me into an ass-man, d'you know that?"

17 September, 2013
A street in Portland, OR

All Content Copyright 2013, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

13 May 2013

Of Myths and Machetes

Most every mythology, regardless of provenance, includes a version of the "hero/heroine's journey". Outwardly these are tall tales of epic journeys, battles and ordeals; of monsters and giants.
 Read more deeply, and they tell the story of everyman's inner journey, the struggle for self-discovery and self-mastery.
Wise-women, mentors or fairy-godmothers offer help along the way, often in the form of gifts: winged sandals, magic swords, cloaks of invisibility.
Today, while I visited my mum's for Mother's Day, she gave me Papi's old hard-hat and his fine Colombian machete. As I held that well-used but still-sharp blade, and when I plopped that hat on my head....well, I felt a little silly for a moment... but I also felt buoyed by the experience. I felt strengthened by my father's memory and by the energy that still lingers in those pieces.

 Now, I am unstoppable. Now, I am ready to go slay a hydra!

All Content Copyright 2013, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

29 April 2013

Meditations on Germination

It's days like today that remind me why I love Portland. Sure there's all of the ridiculous Portlandia stuff, but there are also these moments, just as the seasons change--- moments of pure joy and magic.

I was walking home, still wearing a coat against the slight chill, but enjoying the sunshine nontheless.
Just as I was walking under one of the many venerable old trees that still line the streets in my neighborhood, a sharp gust swept up an eddy of leaves and papery little seed-pods. They swirled around my feet and started upwards. I looked up to find more of the pods raining down from the topmost branches.
The sun had dipped just low enough to give the surrounding trees a thin halo.
It seemed for a moment I could see/feel them breathing and all I could do was smile and breathe along with them.

Meditations on Germination
29 April, 2013
Portland, OR


Not the usual ICCG fare, to be sure, but there you are...consider it a peek behind the curtain. 

 Infamous CoatCheck Girl

All Content Copyright 2013, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

12 February 2013

R.I.P Pauly Schermerhorn

It was 1995, maybe 1996, and my roommate at the time came home one day and said "I met this really cool old raver guy at the square today. He's like sixty years old. Can he come stay with us?"

"Are you insane?!" I asked "You want to let some creepy old guy,  who you just met on the street, come live with us?"

"Just wait until you meet him. You'll see."

Pauly Schermerhorn moved in with us the next day, and would live with me whenever he landed in Portland over the following 8 or 9 years. Pauly was LOVE personified...in the shape of a FABULOUS filipino drag-queen from Memphis. 
He'd show up on my doorstep twice a year with about 10 small bags/suitcases: 2 of them might contain regular clothes, but the rest contained a wondrous assortment of costumes, decorative odds and ends, multiple pairs of platform shoes, and the elaborate head-dresses that he often wore to parties. 
Oh, and there was always the one bag full of kitchen gadgets.
My mom always used to tell me that when Pauly was staying with me, she didn’t worry about me. Pauly was like a second mom--- he taught me how to walk in heels, talked with me about boys, always made sure I was well-fed, and that I felt loved and cared-for. 
I have many fond memories of coming home from a night out, and Pauly wandering out 
“Do you want something to eat?”. He’d whip up some salad rolls with home-made peanut sauce, and sit with me. 
“It’s bad for the soul, to eat alone” he’d say. And he’d tell me stories as I ate. 
He’d tell me stories about Memphis, about his family and  “his kids”. He was a nomad with a network of friends spanning the entire country, and he would spend his year travelling-- city to city, party to party. High on life and LOVE, he’d dance circles around kids half his age and younger. Come to think of it, I never really knew how old Pauly was. He told me he was 58 when I met him and 10-12 years later when asked his age, he would give the same response.

While Pauly was never able to sell me on the whole “rave scene” thing, the love and acceptance he lived and emanated, managed to transcended the obnoxious music, the horrible pants, and my own innate cynicism. I was affectionately granted the title of “Honorary Raver”. Over the years I housed a lot of DJ’s and club kids--- he almost always travelled with some cute boy or another-- all were welcomed into my home.  And all of us, “his kids”, navigated the rocky emotional terrain of our late teens and twenties (even into our thirties),  guided by his unassuming embodiment of love, joy, wisdom, and generosity.

Pauly, you will be missed and forever remembered.


*Though there is a part of me that is absolutely heart-broken right now, there's another part of me that thinks: of course on Fat Tuesday--- some fabulous party was callin' your name. And I can picture you in all your fabulous glittery glory, dancing with a smile on your face.

All Content Copyright 2013, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved